The word vacation certainly rings a bell in any student’s ear. After a semester of late nights in the library, dozens of cups of coffee, quizzes and exams it’s no surprise that I was more than elated to be able to visit Colorado for the first time ever and snowboard. This is a story about me and my 7 best friends’ trip of a lifetime.

Upon arriving in Denver after hours of flying, I met up with my friends who were on a different flight than I and wasnowboardsited for what seemed like an hour for my snowboard to come swinging around in the oversized bag carousel. After a quick pit stop at Taco Bell to fuel the tank, we went outside and met our super-cool Colorado born shuttle bus driver. The trip from Denver, which lies just east of the Rocky Mountains, into the mountains themselves, was mesmerizing. We hardly spoke a word, except Sam in the front who was talking a member of another group’s ear off about his semester abroad in Madrid. We checked in at the front of the resort, which seemed like a small city, and were pleasantly surprised when we found out they gave us lift tickets to go night-riding. We hurriedly carried our luggage to the room, dressed out in our heavy snowboarding gear to bear the subzero temperatures, and set off for the ski lift.

I won’t bore you with the description of how amazing it feels to snowboard, because if you’ve done it before, you already know, and if you haven’t, words can’t describe the sensation. So we spent the next 3 days snowboarding from dusk to dawn, and even a couple of hours after dusk under the dim light that fell on a handful of trails.

The 4th day; however, was the defining day of the trip. We decided to make the lung-busting hike from one of the smaller peaks, up a ridge to the highest peak on the resort. Throughout the trip I thought I had gotten used to the lack of oxygen; but hiking a little over a mile took a lot longer than the 15 or so minutes like it usually would. Instead, it took over an hour because we had to stop and rest every hundred yards. The view on top was well worth the wait though. I’ve visited many places: Florida, California, Oregon, Mexico, and Honduras, but that was the day I knew I was destined to leave near the mountains. We spent at least an hour up there, taking pictures and looking down at how small the skiers and snowboarders looked in the distance. That was the last day of snowboarding, and we stayed out til the last run of the evening.

The next day, we had an equally rewarding experience playing ice hockey on a frozen lake just 2 miles from our resort. The whole trip, I didn’t get injured at all except for a sore rear-end, and I managed to hurt myself more on that frozen lake because I lost an edge and crashed into the boards, smashing my left hand. Luckily, it wasn’t bad enough to have to go see a doctor or anything. I never thought I’d be able to play ice hockey and see beautiful mountains in the distance.

I like to end each of my blogs with a little bit of advice or moral guidance. The advice behind this story is to take the time, money, and effort to travel and experience new things with your friends. They’ll be the memories you cherish for the rest of your life.

— Patrick Davis, Junior, Movement and Sport Sciences

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